British Columbia recorded its second highest number of new cases of COVID-19 in a single day Friday, as health officials announced 132 more people had tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Along with the increase in cases, there was an increase in hospitalizations. Forty-nine people are in hospital, the highest number since May 16 and an increase of 17 since Tuesday.

Ten people are in intensive care, according to a written statement from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix.

The new cases have brought the number of total cases of active infection to yet another record high of 1,461. There have now been 6,962 confirmed cases of the virus, since the pandemic began.

“In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, our strength — as a province, as communities and as individual people — has been in all of us working together as one,” Henry and Dix said.

“We know COVID-19 has not been without challenge and loss. But we are working each day to find the balance of keeping new cases low and slow to protect those who are most vulnerable, while keeping our communities going.”

No new deaths have been recorded, leaving B.C.’s total at 213 since the beginning of the pandemic. To date, 5,273 people have recovered from their illness.

A total of 3,198 people are currently being monitored by public health workers because of potential exposure to COVID-19.

Friday’s update includes one new outbreak at the Evergreen Hamlets long-term care facility in Surrey. There are now 14 active outbreaks in long-term care and assisted living facilities, and three in acute care units of hospitals.

‘Stick to six’

Also on Friday, Interior Health is warning people who attended a private party at Kelowna’s Hotel Zed in the early hours of Sept. 7 that they may have been exposed to the coronavirus. Hotel management says there were a number of people gathered in a common area and balcony during that time. They may not all have been registered guests.

Anyone who might be affected is asked to monitor themselves for symptoms.

Recent weeks have seen a steady rise in new cases of COVID-19 and a growing caseload of patients with active infections — including those who have had to be hospitalized.

Dix and Henry have pleaded with British Columbians to keep their social bubbles small, keep a physical distance when out in public and wear a mask when that isn’t possible.

Dix’s latest message is to “stick to six” — choose a group of six people to socialize with and make it a consistent group.

On Friday, Henry and Dix offered thanks to those who are doing their part to prevent transmission of the disease.

“There are thousands upon thousands of people across British Columbia who are doing their part to protect our province. We thank you for all that you have done and all that you continue to do,” they said.

“We have demonstrated kindness and compassion in the face of adversity and challenge, and this resilience will give us the strength for what lies ahead. Let’s continue to stand strong against our common foe that is COVID-19.”

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